Digital photography and the ubiquitous smartphone has made photography a hobby that’s more accessible to kids than ever – and what better way to celebrate it than to encourage your kids to enjoy National Photography Month this May?
Do you despair of getting your kids interested in an activity that doesn’t involve the screen? You might want to introduce photography to your children. Photography is a hobby that has a lot more math and science in it than most think. After all, it’s a study of light! There’s also angles and composition to consider, and best of all, a whole lot of getting outdoors.
Digital photography and smartphones make this hobby more accessible to children than ever – and what better way to celebrate it than to introduce your children to National Photography Month this May? Here are some tips to get you started:
DO: Find a good option to put in your child’s hands instead of a made-for-kids model
If you have a high-end camera, you probably don’t want to put it in the hands of your child, and that’s perfectly understandable. But the made-for-kids cameras won’t give the kids a good feel for the hobby. (Plus, the images and storage are tiny, it tends to be hard to get the images off those cameras or see what pictures they’ve taken, and they’ll consume lots of AA batteries.)
But DO give them something they can use without constant supervision. An old smartphone protected by a super-tough case like the Otterbox Defender is a great choice, especially if they’re old enough to use a smartphone anyway (seriously, these cases are amazing, they’ll save phones from untimely death on asphalt and sidewalks). Another great choice is a water and shock-resistant digital camera like the Fujifilm FinePix.
DO: Explain the basics
Start with the basic functions of the camera itself and how to review photos that they’ve taken. Then depending on the ages of your children, you may want to explain some of the settings, like the difference between portrait and landscape modes, and when they would want to choose one or the other. Be sure to have them practice so they can see it in action!
Lastly, for the oldest children, you might want to explain some of basic of composition theory… those little tricks that help make photos amazing. There’s lots of great information online about these general practices, like how to use color and the rule of thirds to make an impact.
DO: Encourage them to have fun!
Because of the technology, there’s no wrong way to take digital pictures! Let the kids experiment and do silly things like make faces for one another. And then send them out into the world. If they need a little encouragement to go explore, send them on a digital scavenger hunt where they have to take pictures of a list of things, such as: Something yellow, a bug, and a car they think is cool.
Have your child share their photos with you, and make sure you praise work well done! Ask your child which photos they like the best and then see if they can figure out what makes them extra special. You’ll have a budding photographer in no time at all!
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